Let It R.A.I.N
We live in a fast paced world full of distraction and noise. Rarely are we able to create spaces in our lives to explore what is going on in our psyche. Therefore, when faced with a problem, we tend to either ignore it completely, hoping it will go away on its own, or look for a quick fix.
There were times in my life when I felt so overwhelmed that I started to feel numb. I have been performing as a dancer in the same show for five years now, doing 8 shows a week with only one day off. I started to feel as though my pain receptors had overloaded and they were no longer able to transmit the appropriate signals. I was going through life on autopilot, ignoring every problem I had because I was too run down to find a solution. This was until I stumbled across a mindfulness tool, developed by Michelle McDonald, called R.A.I.N.
R.A.I.N is an acronym designed to create mindfulness in our lives. I have been using it for a year, and I find that it helps me to pause and identify my difficulties, allowing me to see clearly where they are coming from and how I can transform them. I hope it does the same for you.
Find a quiet place to sit and go through the exercise below:
Recognize and name what you are feeling, without judgement or resistance (anger, irritation, jealousy, anxiety). Observe the thoughts that are associated with this feeling, and the way it feels in your body. Is your body tense? Do you experience tingling or numbness? Which area do you feel it the most?
Accept what you are feeling with compassion. This does not mean the same as giving up. On the contrary, it is a necessary step in transforming your situation, for you cannot change what you cannot accept.
Investigate your thoughts and feelings with a friendly and engaged exploration. Try not to judge yourself for what you are feeling. Notice what stories, thoughts or images come up. Is there a sense of blame? Guilt? Shame? Allow your mind to lead you to the source of the feeling.
Remember that you are not these thoughts, feelings and stories. You are the awareness and the spaciousness that is observing. Rest in this awareness and notice how freeing it is.
Where Do We Go From Here?
R.A.I.N is just the beginning of transformation. It opens up a space in which we can stop identifying with our problems and see the bigger picture. Once we stop identifying, we stop taking things so personally. When we stop taking things personally we can move on to finding a solution instead of replaying the stories of our pain.